At Pura Aventura we try to make every destination special and different, a key part of that is our guides. They all make the effort to make our clients feel at home and get the most from their holidays. Here we interview our key man in the Pyrenees, Jaime. Or Jaime Lahoz Ortiz de la Tabla if you want all the bells and whistles!
Where do you live?
Cerler, Pirineo de Huesca.
What are your hobbies?
I’m very active. In winter I mainly ski though I also like snowboard and telemark. In summer I mountain bike.
Music is very important for me, I am addicted to Spotify. I recently started learning to play guitar. At this rate, in about 100 years I might make a sound which passes as music.
How did you get involved with Pura Aventura?
I got involved in Pura as a shareholder in 2003 through Xabi, one of the players in my Rugby team and one of the founders of Pura Aventura.
Nowadays I am in charge of our ski holidays here in Celer, although some times move to another areas to help some Pura’s colleagues when they have big groups, for instance in the Picos de Europa.
What do you do with Pura’s clients on a ski week?
Basically I teach the clients to ski or snowboard if someone asks for it.
I am also there to help clients get their equipment, hand out the lift passes, show them around, advise on the best time to hit the slopes, tell them which slopes are best at the moment.
I also am on hand to help them with any thing they need, making life in Cerler as easy as possible for them. I want them to just relax and enjoy their holiday.
Because I live in Celer I know all the restaurants, shops, bars, etc. It means that I can point you in the right direction for the best and most authentic experience.
What is the most important task you have as a Ski teacher?
Sometimes I’ll get a group which includes complete beginners, afraid to ski as well as advanced piste bashers. I try to make sure that every student gets exactly what they need.
The way I teach each person is different. What matters most is that everyone enjoys themselves!
For a beginner it might be enough to learn to slide slowly downhill while I hold their hands. For teenagers in particular I usually have to teach them not to go too fast for their level. I try to make is so that everyone gets to access and enjoy this fantastic environment.
What do you think makes Celer different to other ski resorts?
Lots of things.
It’s big enough to have lots of runs for everyone to enjoy but it feels really intimate. It’s never crowded so you don’t get long queues. Sometimes you will even be on your own on a run. It also means that beginners can learn safely and advance only as fast as they want.
It’s easy to get around the slopes because the lifts are located strategically. From each station there is a ski run for every level, this makes easier to organise groups according to their level.
Cerler is a real village which happens to have a ski resort. As a result, it feels like the real Spain ‘ great food, sensible prices and a stunning environment.
I guess ultimately though it’s the people who make Cerler different. The environment is quieter and more relaxed, I know almost everyone on the slopes. Also, they know that the only British people here are Pura customers and so are always willing to help.
I remember one day one of our clients dropped his passport and wallet on the slopes, without realising it. One of the other teachers in resort found it and, seeing that it was a British passport, came to find me. I gave back the wallet to the client before they even knew it was missing!
I love this story because I think it’s impossible to think that this would happen in a ‘normal’ ski resort. Sometimes a small ski resort can be a great ski resort!
What would you say to the readers of this newsletter?
Come to Spain and discover that my country is more than just sun and beaches. Come to Cerler, improve your skiing and have a lot of laughs. At least I promise to try!’